Sunday was the Mens Over 40s East Masters Cup at Cambridge City. A chance to dust off the cobwebs with some hockey against similarly aged players, rather than the usual Saturday fun of trying to keep up with someone less than half your age.
Preparation didn’t start well with Jim R picking up a flowerpot related injury in the days before the tournament but we arrived with 15 fit-ish and healthy-ish players. Two of which were goalkeepers, though we were sadly prevented from playing them both at the same time.
The competition rules did allow for the inclusion of a couple of younger, over 35s, but we decided to forgo that, instead opting for the experience and wisdom of some over 60s on our team.
First up was Witham, who arrived a player short and were leant Colin with instructions not to try too hard. The majority of our team had played the previous day so we resolved to “let the ball do the work” and started well, passing wide and working our way towards the Witham goal. After a couple of minutes James P scored our first of the day shooting from the top of the D into the left corner. With that early confidence boost we carried on in much the same fashion. James went on to score three more at the back post to give us a 4-0 win.
After one match we were topping the table on goal difference. Thoughts turned to whether we would need to buy a trophy cabinet for the clubhouse. The sun was shining and we were feeling good. And then it started to go downhill.
A Broxbourne side who seemed very young and very fit, in comparison to us, won our second match 2-0. Then came Luton, and we were holding our own at 0-0 before they scored from a short corner that looked a long way above the back board to most.
Cambridge Nomads were next up. We still had a +1 goal difference and had beaten Nomads 2s by 3-2 the previous day. But this was a very different Nomads side, who ran us ragged and went on to win 3-0.
Being old and wise we weren't disheartened. Hosts Cambridge City were next and we put in our best performance of the day, holding them at 0-0 for most of the game with chances at both ends. Sadly they scored from an own goal but we were very pleased with how well we had played against a strong team.
Last up was Northampton. They beat us too, 2-0 this time. But who cares, beers and pasties in the bar followed and we had all had a very enjoyable day.
Awards went to:
MOTM - James P for his goals, though maybe next time he could spread them across multiple games...
DOTM - Roddi for his "moment" against Cambridge City
Thanks to everyone for turning up, giving their all and never getting disheartened against some very good teams.